Archive for April, 2011

Canadian Council for Refugees spring consultation

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

The Canadian Council for Refugees spring consultation will be held from May 26-28, 2011 in Hamilton, Ontario.

2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the internationally recognized legal document that defines who a refugee is, what their rights are and the legal obligations of states parties to the Convention.

This consultation includes (so far) at least two sessions directly related to children/youth/family issues, including:

The impact of lost or mistaken identity documents for youth

Lost identity documents (ID) or misinformation can have serious impacts on the lives of refugee and immigrant youth in Canada. This workshop will look at the problems associated with trying to replace lost or mistaken identity documents for newcomer youth, and some possible solutions and actions.

Convention compliance for refugee children

The purpose of this workshop will be to explore the extent of Canada’s compliance with the Refugee Convention in the  areas of refoulement, detention and family reunification. Participants will review CCR activities relative to each area and brainstorm about potential activities the CCR could undertake to promote greater compliance.

For more information, visit the Canadian Council for Refugees website.

AMSSA Newcomer Child Information Exchange e-Bulletin: Family Dynamics

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The latest edition of the ANCIE (AMSSA Newcomer Child Information Exchange) looks at the issues, challenges and experiences of refugee families, their children and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the complexities of family dynamics. The e-Bulletin includes a case study, lists useful resources and offers strategies for working with refugee children.

ANCIE has produced 5 e-Bulletins now, including this latest:

March, 2010 ~ Trends in migration of children in BC

May, 2010 ~ English Language Learners

July, 2010 ~ Health and Wellness of Newcomer Children

Nov, 2010 ~ Refugee Children

April, 2011 ~ Family Dynamics

Downnload the PDF e-Bulletins from the ANCIE website or get on their email list by emailing:newcomerchildren@amssa.org.

Interculturalism is the new multiculturalism

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Here’s one of my tweets made during the first (and only) English language debate between the four main party leaders on April 12, 2011:

ZS Worotynec @immigranttalk ZS Worotynec
Harper doesn’t understand difference between #multiculturalism and Quebec’s #interculturalism & Duceppe not good at explaining #exln41 #db8
12 Apr via web Favorite Reply Delete

Which is odd: Harper’s own Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, The Honourable Jason Kenney, has been advocating for interculturalism over multiculturalism his entire time in the portfolio, I think.

In any case, it got me thinking: Do I know enough about the difference between interculturalism and multiculturaism? So, I looked for and found some useful resources.

immigrantchildren.ca visitors may already know about an upcoming conference exploring this issue: The International Symposium on Interculturalism/Symposium international sur l’interculturalisme ~ Dialogue Québéc Europe will be held May 25-27 in  Québéc. A description of the symposium:

Under the aegis of Gérard Bouchard, Professor at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and with the support of an array of Québec organizations, and the special contribution from experts of the Council of Europe, this Symposium will be an important forum for participants from Québec and Europe. The main purpose will be to report progress on interculturalism as a model for integration, and specifically for managing ethno-cultural diversity in democratic societies. The interculturalist model already has a long history in Québec, and it attracts growing interest in Europe. Thus, the Symposium will be a dialogue between Québec and Europe on the situation and future of interculturalism.

On the conference website, you’ll find the following – all PDFs:

  1. Bouchard, Gérard & Charles Taylor (2008). Building the Future. A Time for Reconciliation. Report. Commission de consultation sur les pratiques d’accommodement reliées aux différences culturelles.
  2. Council Of Europe (2008). White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. “Living together as equals in dignity”.
  3. Council Of Europe & European Commission (2010). Intercultural cities – Towards a model for intercultural integration.

The steering paper, which provides rationale for the symposium discusses the term “interculturalism” and introduces a new term “integrationism” to avoid having integration (good) associated with assimilation (bad). Fascinating stuff! If anyone goes, please share thoughts, etc.

“In accordance with North American tradition, the concept of integration is used to refer to those mechanisms and processes (of articulation or insertion) through which social bonds are created, including their symbolic and functional foundations. Such mechanisms and processes are of concern to all citizens (whether new or old), and they operate at various levels (individual, community, institutional and State) and on many dimensions (economic, social, cultural, etc.). In terms of culture, it should be noted that the concept of integration, thus defined, is exempt from any assimilationist overtone. In order to avoid confusion, the term integrationism will be used here, when referring to those forms of integration that are not respectful of diversity”.

Immigrant children falling behind (US)

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

From The Future of Children listserv:

Nearly a quarter of schoolchildren in the United States are immigrants or the children of immigrants. A substantial percentage of these children, especially those from Latin America, are falling behind in school and as a result, face a bleak economic future.

On April 20, The Future of Children, a joint project of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, will host an event: Immigrant children falling behind: Implications and policy prescriptions and release the latest issue of its journal. The issue is devoted entirely to several aspects of the status and well-being of immigrant children. An accompanying policy brief proposes a set of policy recommendations that could improve their attainment, including expanding preschool programs, improved English Language Learner instruction, and congressional passage of the DREAM Act to allow undocumented students to attend college.

The event will begin with an overview of the journal and the policy brief by the editors, Marta Tienda of Princeton and Ron Haskins of Brookings. Following the overview, a panel of experts will present arguments for and against the DREAM Act and comment on how the educational achievement of immigrant children can be improved.

After the program, the speakers will take questions from the audience.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 9am -11am, The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC. Info: events@brookings.edu or 202.797.6105.

CU Expo 2011: Sessions on immigration, settlement and multiculturalism

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

logo

CUExpo is a conference about how community and university partnerships collaborate together to develop innovative solutions to strengthen communities.

CUExpo2011 will be held May 10-14, 2011 in Waterloo, Ontario Canada. It is expected to draw about 600 people from Canada and around the world who are passionate about the power of community-university partnerships as a vehicle for social change. Students, community leaders, researchers, educators, funders, policy makers and others invested in community-building will be in attendance.

The CU Expo movement began in Canada as a response to individuals involved in community-university partnerships needing a forum to share experiences, strategies and ideas. CUExpo2011 includes several sessions related to immigration, settlement, diversity, multiculturalism and integration (all links open as PDFs):

Wed May 11th ~ Community Voice and Relevance

It takes a village: Training community health workers in the Burundian refugee population using a community-based participatory service learning model.

Training immigrant peer researchers for CBPR on HIV/AIDS in Germany.

Tuberculosis amongst immigrants and refugees at an adult education centre: A community-based participatory research approach.

CBR within an immigrant community.

Cross-cultural lessons of engaging immigrant and refugee families in research and evaluation.

Growing community through urban agriculture: A community-university project involving senior immigrants.

Immigrant cultural values and language barriers as communication class lessons.

Settling, working, and belonging: An innovative and collaborative approach to integrating newcomers.

Churches responding to the immigrant reality in Canada: A national participatory action research project.

Thurs May 12th ~ Partnerships & Collaboration

Building multi-cultural and multi-health system partnership to conduct health research.

Recruiting low-income families into community programmes: Exploring differences in engagement strategies among ethnic groups.

Fri May 13th ~ Action and Change

Immigrant peer researchers and HIV prevention in Germany: The PaKoMi video.

Register now!

Research request: Peace Builders Research Project

Friday, April 8th, 2011

The South Island Dispute Resolution Centre Society (SIDRCS) and Leadership Victoria are currently partnering on the Peace Builders Research Project in Victoria BC. This project is a joint initiative, which will result in curriculum focusing on conflict management, effective communication, and healthy relationships. This curriculum will be implemented with small groups of newcomer children (approximately age 6-11) beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Some objectives of this research are:

  • to build greater understanding of the issues surrounding conflict resolution training for newly settled Canadian children,
  • to determine best practices for teaching such children conflict resolution skills,
  • to identify a firm foundation of information that will inform curriculum development, and
  • to assist in developing an inclusive and respectful Introductory Conflict Management and Communication course that will orient newcomer children to effective skills and techniques that they will be able to use regardless of language, cultural, and religious differences.

SIDRCS researcher, Anna Du Vent (MA, International Development Studies) is currently working as a community researcher to develop an annotated bibliography and series of best practices that will aid in the development of this curriculum. She is seeking resources or advice that would aid the project. She can be reached at annaduvent@gmail.com .

Census information in multiple languages

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Statistics Canada has produced a number of promotional materials (posters, bookmarks, fact sheets) about the May 2011 Census including information in several languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Creole, Dari, English, French, Hindi, Japanese, Koren, Laotian, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Vietnamese.

The Census 2011 site provides concise information about why people should complete the Census.

Other useful resources developed include articles specific to business associations, organizations, groups such as immigrants, seniors, youth, university/college students and Aboriginal peoples. These articles can be posted on websites, included in newsletters, e-bulletins or emails to contacts.

About 4 weeks after the Census, Statistics Canada will conduct the new voluntary National Household Survey (NHS). Around 4.5 million households across Canada will receive the NHS questionnaire. The NHS is needed to plan family services, housing, roads, public transportation, and skills training for employment.

With the demise of the long-form Census, it’s important to get the message out on why the Census is important for planning for the future of Canada. immigrantchildren.ca is pleased to see the outreach to the diverse linguistic communities in Canada with this multilingual information being made available. Let’s all do our duty and promote it!

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